South Carolina residents who plan to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day holiday by visiting friends or family members should drive with extreme caution. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes data about deadly car accidents available to researchers through its Fatality Analysis Reporting System, and the figures reveal that more fatal drunk driving crashes take place on the Fourth of July than on any other federal holiday.
Accidents involving drunk drivers claimed 1,192 lives during Fourth of July festivities between 2010 and 2017, which is 87 more deaths than the number killed over the Memorial Day weekend. The FARS data also suggests that the chances of being struck by a drunk driver are 57% higher on Independence Day than they are on other summer days. Labor Day and New Year's Day are the third and fourth most fatal holidays for drunk driving accidents.
Independence Day drunk driving accidents are the highest when the holiday falls on a Wednesday and the lowest when the nation celebrates its birthday on a Saturday. When the Fourth of July is a weekday, an average of 43.4 road users lose their lives in drunk driving accidents. This figure falls to 36.3 when the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday or Sunday. Drunk driving deaths on Memorial Day, Labor Day and New Year's Day average 39.5, 38.1 and 31.7 respectively.
Experienced personal injury attorneys may file lawsuits against insurance companies or estates when their clients have been injured in car accidents caused by drunk drivers. This is because intoxicated drivers are often killed or charged with serious criminal offenses. When preparing this kind of litigation, attorneys may take steps to ensure that the damages they seek are sufficient to cover their client's long-term medical costs as well as compensate them for their property damage and lost income.